Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cali 101 - Redwood Highway

May 11th

Turns out Portland is a bit farther away than I thought so today I have to hustle. Unfortunately, this means that I can't take my detour along the coast of Oregon which I hear is just awesome. On the bright side, I have an excuse to come again.

Once you leave San Francisco the name of the highway changes to Redwood Highway and it's pretty self-explanatory, no? There are thousands of Redwoods hovering over you as you drive by. The road winds its way around them so as not to disturb them. At one point they are so close together and so high that they block out the afternoon sky. Never drive this highway at night. Last night I thought I'd drive a couple of hours more until I found myself in complete darkness on a winding road. I had no idea what was around me. Was I on a mountain? Was I still surrounded by vineyards? If I keep going will I be sucked into a time vortex and find myself in 1955? It was very scary. Plus, if you drive at night you'll miss the view. And it's a hell of a view.

The highway meets up with Route 199 which is very narrow and windy. Because I had to watch my speed I was now definitely cutting it close to Allende's lecture. Finally I caught Interstate 5 and it's full of Christmas trees! They're everywhere, you'd think Santa would live here instead of the North Pole. Plus it's crazy clean because they have a littering fine of up to $6,250. They don't fuck around to Oregonians. I don't think I can find a single bad thing to say about Oregon. Like not a one. I'm so going back.

I reach Portland with about an hour to spare and that is not good because I have no idea where the theater is. I pull into a 7-Eleven to buy a map but get something better: cops. They're in an unmarked car (?) but both very cute and very nice. Apparently I'm close, but we know that means nothing because I will still make it with a couple of minutes to spare. I will take a wrong turn and pass the place I'm supposed to be at twice without knowing and then find it by accident. And I do.